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Colts RB Jonathan Taylor reports to team’s training camp

Colts star running back Jonathan Taylor looks like he doesn’t have any intentions of holding out as it stands.

NFL: JUN 07 Indianapolis Colts OTA Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Indianapolis Colts star running back Jonathan Taylor has reported to the team’s training camp on the eve of official kickoff—despite publicly expressing his disappointment with the recent top running back free agent market, and entering a contract year:

There was at least some national school of thought that Taylor could hold out for a bit to let his further displeasure known about the league’s valuation of elite running backs and in solidarity with his fellow top rushers (after a recent reported Zoom call):

That being said, Taylor is playing on the last year of his rookie contract, as a former 2020 second round pick—so the situation is a little different than what it was for the New York Giants Saquon Barkley, who was otherwise facing the franchise tag this year, and instead elected to obtain a slight pay raise on a one-year, up to $11M deal (*which admittedly feels light).

Coming off an injury limited 2022 season, it probably wasn’t in Taylor’s best interests to hold out and have a sluggish start out of the gates. If he can have a rebound campaign, even remotely similar to his 2021 season, in which he led the league in carries (332), rushing yards (1,811), and rushing touchdowns (18), he could reset the running back market and obtain the highest contract in league history at the position—whatever that may be now.

Taylor should be aided this year by the much anticipated arrival of top rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson, whose mobility should complement him well in the RPO game and has the strong arm to keep opposing defenses honest from stacking the box.

Colts general manager Chris Ballard has re-signed Indy’s other top homegrown players on a list that includes Shaquille Leonard and Quenton Nelson—which are other non-premium NFL positions, so it’ll be interesting to see where he ultimately lands on Taylor long-term.

The Colts salary cap situation should be helped by the fact that Richardson is playing on a rookie scale contract, meaning there may be some opportunity to frontload Taylor’s contract on a multi-year deal and soften the blow on the backend—when his inevitable decline at the position occurs.